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Morales ousting adds new fuel to social conflict in Bolivia, region

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Rebecca Valli

Political uncertainty accelerated in Bolivia after the ousting of once-hugely popular leader, Evo Morales, over the weekend. After Morales’ resignation, one of the country’s senators from the opposition declared herself president, saying she was stepping forward to “pacify the country.”

Kenneth Roberts

Professor of Government

Kenneth Roberts, professor of government at Cornell University and author of “Changing Course in Latin America: Party Systems in Latin America’s Neoliberal Era,” says that the institutional vacuum is magnified by broader civil unrest in Bolivia and beyond.

Roberts says:

“Evo Morales' forced resignation from the presidency in Bolivia has created a political vacuum that rival forces are mobilizing to fill, on both the left and rights flanks of Bolivian society. The resulting institutional uncertainty is magnified by civic mobilization, which threatens to deepen the country's profound ethnic and class divisions and politicize military and police institutions. 

“In a Latin American context of accelerating social protests and heightened ideological conflict, the Bolivian case adds new fuel to the fire and poses novel challenges to democracy in the region.”

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